I spend an embarrassingly large amount of time and money at coffee shops and cafes, mostly drinking chai lattes and cafe lattes while blogging, studying, or pretending to do the aforementioned things while surfing the web or chatting with friends.
Character flaw? Human Condition? Maybe. Regardless I am trying to be better at finding motivation in my own home while making my own lattes. (Though I feel like a hypocrite because while I did make this beautiful chai latte earlier this week and enjoy it immensely, I also am currently sitting in a cafe drinking a latte while blogging… At least I am actually blogging though and not pretending to blog, right?)
One of the many great things about chai is that it is supremely easy to keep the necessary ingredients on hand–besides fresh ginger once you buy the spices you can keep them in your cupboard for months. The ingredients are also all so flavorful and not so specific or necessary per say so you can adjust the recipe to your taste and also what you have on hand. For example, the recipe I based mine off of called for one piece of star anise and three cardamom pods, but I love both of those flavors so much I added extra.
I also added honey half way through the cooking process when I realized that there was nothing to make the mixture “soupy” as the directions specified and there was also no sweetening agent. Now I am not one for sweet tea, but with so many spices and with the addition of milk, I think it is nice for chai to have a sweet/spicy feel going on, otherwise the spices and black tea have the potential to get too intense or bitter.
I also recommend doubling the recipe if you plan to keep it in your refrigerator, because this recipe ended up giving me in the ballpark of three mugs of chai….which was 1.5 days worth of chai for me. >_<
As you can see, this is basically a “throw everything in the pot at once” kind of recipe, so it doesn’t take a lot of time or effort. That was perfect for me because I made it and served it with Chocolate Raspberry Macarons–and since that recipe was new to me and written in Korean I was ready to turn off my brain and simply enjoy a beverage with my hard work.
Chai Latte Recipe
adapted from With the Grains
Chai Concentrate Ingredients:
2 bags of black tea (I used Afternoon Darjeeling)
3 cups water
6 cardamom pods, crushed
1 inch ginger, peeled and chopped
2 star anise
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 cup honey
1) Place the water and tea bags in a small pot and bring to a simmer.
2) With the heat on low, add the remaining ingredients and stir well.
3) After about 3 minutes, remove the tea bags and continue to steep the spices for another five minutes, stirring occasionally.
4) Remove from the heat and strain into a heat proof container. Cool and keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Chai Latte Directions:
1) In a small sauce pan add one part whole milk to one part chai concentrate–I typically do 3/4 or 1 cup of each.
2) Bring to a simmer then remove from heat and pour into mugs and serve!
**I like to froth some milk and top my chai lattes with foam and a dusting of cinnamon, but that is 100% to your personal taste!